Thunder: Injury won't cost Hamidou Diallo spot in rotation
Thunder coach Billy Donovan promised Hamidou Diallo that a spot in the rotation will be waiting for him when he returns from injury.
Diallo will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks after suffering a hyperextension sprain in his right elbow last Friday against the Lakers.
“I think for any young player, the concern always for those guys is where am I gonna fit in, how am I gonna fit in when I come back? Am I behind the eight ball? And that’s not the case for our team,” Donovan said. “We need Hami, and I told him that when he comes back, we’re gonna put him right back into the rotation.”
The 21-year-old guard was making considerable improvements in his second season. Diallo’s minutes jumped from 10.3 per game as a rookie to 21.3 as a sophomore.
- Related to this story
- Article: Five takeaways from the Thunder's 100-97 win against the Warriors
- Article: Lessons learned in Thunder's improbable comeback at Golden State
- Article: Thunder: Steve Kerr says Danilo Gallinari 'still fooling refs'
- Article: Thunder: Billy Donovan wants to play faster
- Article: Thunder players young to old ready for Carmelo Anthony reunion
- Article: Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander announces commitment to Canada next summer
- Video: OKC Thunder - Danilo Gallinari on beating Golden State (Game 16 of 82)
- Video: OKC Thunder - Chris Paul talks comeback against Golden State (Game 16 of 82)
- Video: OKC Thunder - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on win over Golden State (Game 16 of 82)
- Video: Thunder update: Takeaways from the win over Golden State
Diallo is shooting 50 percent from the field this season, up from 45.5 percent last year. The former second-round pick averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 12 games before his injury.
“Generally, players make the biggest jump from their first year to their second year,” Donovan said. “He clearly has made a really big jump. I feel bad for him, but when he does come back, there’s still gonna be a lot of games left to play. We just gotta make sure that mentally and physically he’s in a good place that we can help him continue to develop.”